By Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., U.S. Navy Surgeon General and Chief, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Navy Medicine is a thriving, global health care system fully engaged and integrated in providing high quality health care to beneficiaries in wartime and in peacetime. Our highly trained personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide – providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield. At the same time, our military and civilian health care professionals are providing care for uniformed services’ family members and retirees at military treatment facilities around the globe. Every day, no matter what the environment, Navy Medicine is ready to care for those in need; providing world class care, anytime, anywhere.
As 2011 unfolds, we find ourselves at an important crossroads for military medicine. The operational tempo of today’s military has been unrelenting. Meeting the increased demand for health care providers both in the military and civilian world is a challenge facing us all. How we collectively respond to these challenges will likely set the stage for decades to come.
So we must focus on doing what is right and doing all we can to support our mission.
During the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve made incredible advancements in how we care for and treat our heroes and our caregivers.
We’ve had the lowest mortality rate amongst trauma victims coming out of any war. As operations in Iraq wind down, we must maintain keen focus on our contributions to Afghanistan and our commitment to our Wounded Warriors and their families. We must never waver in our support to them for the long haul. We must anticipate caring for them for the rest of this century, when the young Sailors and Marines of today mature into our aging heroes of tomorrow.
Additional challenges include working through manning shortfalls for wartime critical specialties and providing more seamless logistical coordination during humanitarian disasters around the globe. Regardless of the challenges ahead, I believe we are well-positioned for the future. I am confident that we will overcome any obstacles in our ability to meet our world-wide operational demands and continue our commitment to provide high-quality patient- and family-centered care to our growing number of beneficiaries. With that spirit of commitment and service in mind, let us begin the discussion of how we can best meet these challenges. I encourage all readers and bloggers, no matter your rank, position, or location, to provide constructive feedback on our goals and policies, because a good idea knows no rank. I look forward to the discussions.